Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$500 thousand
Date Of BirthMay 8, 1964
SpouseTimothy Busfield, Bruce Boxleitner, Bo Brinkman
MarkHigh-pitched voice
FactReceived a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Blvd.
PaymentsEarned $75,000 per week from Little House on the Prairie (1974)

Melissa Gilbert is an American actress, television director, and producer best known for her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the NBC drama series Little House on the Prairie. She is a two-time Emmy Award winner and has been nominated for a Tony Award.

Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Barbara Crane (née Cowan) and Harold Abel Gilbert. She has four older siblings: actors Jonathan Gilbert and Sara Gilbert, producer/writer/director Leah Rozen, and actress/writer/producer Patricia Gilbert. Gilbert’s father died of a heart attack when she was just 8 years old.

Gilbert began her acting career at the age of 12, landing the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder on the NBC drama series Little House on the Prairie. She played the role for nine seasons, from 1974 to 1983. Gilbert won two Emmy Awards for her work on the show.

After Little House on the Prairie ended, Gilbert appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and guest-starred on various television series. In 1988, she made her Broadway debut in the play The Heidi Chronicles. She also starred in the CBS sitcom Roseanne from 1988 to 1997.

Gilbert has been married three times. Her first husband was actor Bruce Boxleitner, with whom she has two sons: Michael Garrett Boxleitner and Dakota Brinkman Boxleitner. She was married to actor Timothy Busfield from 2013 to 2016. She is currently married to actor and director Jordan Donica.

Gilbert has a net worth of $8 million.

General Info

Full NameMelissa Gilbert
Net Worth$500 thousand
Date Of BirthMay 8, 1964
Height1.6 m
ProfessionScreenwriter, Politician, Film producer, Voice Actor, Producer, Businessperson, Television Director


SpouseTimothy Busfield, Bruce Boxleitner, Bo Brinkman
ChildrenDakota Brinkman, Michael Boxleitner
ParentsKathy Wood, David Darlington, Barbara Cowan, Paul Gilbert
SiblingsJonathan Gilbert, Sara Gilbert, Claudia Cowan


AwardsTV Land Most Memorable Kiss Award, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Debut Performance
NominationsGolden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie, People's Choice Award for Favorite Young TV Performer
MoviesSwitched at Birth, Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story, A Family of Strangers, Cries from the Heart, Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife, Little House on the Prairie, Joshua's Heart, Christmas in My Hometown, Forbidden Nights, Dying to Remember, Safe Harbour, House of Secrets, Family Secrets, ...
TV ShowsBatman: The Animated Series, Sweet Justice, Little House on the Prairie, Stand By Your Man

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1High-pitched voice


Little House on the Prairie (1974)$75,000 per week


1Women in their twenties are beautiful. But women in their forties? There's something magical there.
2[Of Michael Landon]: I wanted him to be my father substitute. I loved that man and I loved the way I always felt safe, crying with him. Now, granted, it was on film. But generally, I was crying about what was going on with me for real when I was with him. And he was always there to hold me. That's the only time I let that stuff out. So, he was there in most of these scenes, comforting me. It was sort of a father/daughter relationship in my eyes.
3[on her on- and off-screen chemistry with Michael Landon, who played Charles Ingalls]: He was very much like a 'second father' to me. My own father passed away when I was 11, so, without really officially announcing it, Michael really stepped in.
4[on her own journey]: I saw an opportunity at a time in my career when, like many female actors my age, opportunities are drying up left and right. So for me to have a chance to do something new and create a new facet to my career at 45 is a blessing I just couldn't ignore.
5[on what it's like to be famous]: For months you've referred to me as your hero, but it's easy to be brave when I have you to come home to, and hide behind, and hold on to. I wish you the happiest birthday ever... . Let's eat!
6[on comparing her co-star's, Karen Grassle's, "Caroline Ingalls" character to her own]: Karen's "Ma" always reminded me of Grace Kelly. My Ma's a little more feisty, a little more earthy, I'm a redhead. So is Ma in this show. So there's some fire under those petticoats.
7It reminds people of what we as humans and Americans are capable of if we do it together. We tend to live in bubbles. ... There is very little real sense of community anymore. This show reminds people of that.
8[About Little House on the Prairie (1974)]: Not a day goes by that I don't think about it and burst into tears. It's like stepping through a looking glass. There's a part of me that's always going to be Laura. I think every girl has a Laura in them.
9Thank God I have four sons. The mother/daughter relationship is one of mankind's great mysteries, and for womankind, it can be hellaciously complicated. My mother and I are quintessential examples of the rewards and frustrations, and the joys and infuriations it can yield.
10We take pride in each other - we were meant to be together.


1Highly praised Michael Landon for her stardom to acting.
2Delivered the eulogy at the memorial service for her friend and mentor, Patty Duke, on April 16, 2016. Duke was "Annie Sullivan" to Gilbert's "Helen Keller" in the 1979 production of The Miracle Worker (1979). Similarly, in June 2005, Patty Duke gave the eulogy at Anne Bancroft's memorial service. Bancroft was "Annie Sullivan" to Duke's "Helen Keller" in the original The Miracle Worker (1962) in 1962.
3On August 14, 2015, she announced that she is running for a seat in Congress from Michigan.
4In her autobiography she lists Charlie Brill as her godfather and his wife, actress/comedienne Mitzi McCall, as her godmother.
5Revealed that she had a wonderful working relationship with Michael Landon on Little House on the Prairie (1974).
6As of August 2013 was residing in Howell, MI.
7Release of her book, "Prairie Tale: A Memoir". [2009]
8On April 24, 2013, she married her longtime boyfriend Timothy Busfield (her third marriage) following a three-month-long engagement.
9Gave birth to her second child at age 31, son Michael Garrett Boxleitner, on October 6, 1995. Child's father is her second ex-husband, Bruce Boxleitner.
10She appeared in 191 of the 205 episodes of Little House on the Prairie (1974), more than anyone else.
11Gave birth to her first child at age 24, son Dakota Brinkman, on May 1, 1989. Child's father is her first ex-husband, Bo Brinkman.
12Her acting mentors were the late Michael Landon and the late Patty Duke.
13Childhood idol was Shirley Temple.
14Her production company is "Half-Pint Productions".
15Youngest stepsister of Claudia Cowan. Stepdaughter of Warren Cowan.
16Best known by the public for her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie (1974).
17Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6429 Hollywood Blvd.
18Aunt of Sara Gilbert's son Levi and daughter Sawyer.
19Ranked #31 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars".
20Both her ex-husbands (Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner) played Confederate officers in Gods and Generals (2003).
21Inducted (as a cast member of Little House on the Prairie (1974)) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1998.
22Michael Landon Jr. took her to her senior prom in 1981.
23Was one of 500 young girls who auditioned for the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the TV series Little House on the Prairie (1974) and she was the only one whose screen test was sent to be considered by NBC. It was Michael Landon's daughter Leslie Landon who told Melissa that she had won the role of Laura when the two of them stood in line at their school cafeteria.
24Had a combined family with her ex-husband, Bruce Boxleitner: Bruce had two sons, Sam Boxleitner (b. 1980) and Lee Boxleitner (b. 1985). Melissa became a mother when her first child, Dakota Brinkman (Dakota Paul Brinkman), was born on Monday, May 1, 1989, while she was married to Bo Brinkman. She had one son with Bruce, Michael Garrett Boxleitner, who was born on Friday, October 6, 1995.
25Was introduced to last ex-husband Bruce Boxleitner by his ex-wife, Kathryn Holcomb.
26In national voting completed on Friday, 2 November 2001, she was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, taking the position held since November 1999 by William Daniels, who declined to run for another term. She held the position until 2005, when she was replaced by Alan Rosenberg.
27Goddaughter of Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall.
28Adopted half-sister of Sara Gilbert. Sara is the natural daughter of Barbara Cowan and Harold Abeles. Cowan and late husband Paul Gilbert together adopted Melissa and Jonathan Gilbert (they are not biologically related to each other). Sara took her stepfather's surname when she began acting in 1984.
29Had a highly publicized relationship with Rob Lowe during the 1980s, and they were reportedly at one time engaged.
30Granddaughter of Harry Crane.




One Smart Fellow2015ShortEllen
The Night Shift2015TV SeriesLindsay
Secrets and Lies2015TV SeriesLisa Daly
The Christmas Pageant2011TV MovieVera Parks
Safe Harbour2007VideoOphelia MacKenzie
Sacrifices of the Heart2007TV MovieKate Weston Anne Weston
Nip/Tuck2006TV SeriesShari Noble
7th Heaven2005TV SeriesMarie Wagner
Fat Actress2005TV SeriesMelissa Gilbert
Thicker Than Water2005TV MovieNatalie Jones
Heart of the Storm2004TV MovieCassie Broadbeck
Then Came Jones2003TV MovieDevon Jones- Thomas
Hollywood Wives: The New Generation2003TV MovieTaylor Singer
Storyline Online2003TV Series
Presidio Med2002TV SeriesGrace Bennett
Providence2002TV SeriesLorna Berlin
Sanctuary2001TV MovieJo Ellen Hathaway
Lisa Picard Is Famous2000Melissa Gilbert
A Vision of Murder: The Story of Donielle2000TV MovieDonielle
Switched at Birth1999TV MovieSarah Barlow
The Soul Collector1999TV MovieRebecca
Touched by an Angel1998TV SeriesMichelle Tanner
Her Own Rules1998TV MovieMeredith Sanders
Murder at 75 Birch1998TV MovieGwen Todson
The Outer Limits1998TV SeriesTeresa Janovitch
Childhood Sweetheart?1997TV MovieKaren Carlson
Seduction in a Small Town1997TV MovieSarah Jenks
A Holiday for Love1996TV MovieEmma Murphy
Babylon 51996TV SeriesAnna Sheridan
Zoya1995TV MovieZoya Ossipov
Sweet Justice1994-1995TV SeriesKate Delacroy
Batman: The Animated Series1992-1994TV SeriesBarbara Gordon Batgirl
Cries from the Heart1994TV MovieKaren
Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story1994TV MovieMelissa Prentice
The Babymaker: The Dr. Cecil Jacobson Story1994TV MovieMary Bennett
Dying to Remember1993TV MovieLynn Matthews
House of Secrets1993TV MovieMarion Ravinel
Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story1993TV MovieShari Karney
With Hostile Intent1993TV MovieMiranda Berkley
Family of Strangers1993TV MovieJulie
With a Vengeance1992TV MovieJenna King / Valerie Tanner (as Melissa Gilbert Brinkman)
Stand by Your Man1992TV SeriesRochelle Dunphy
The Hidden Room1991TV Series
Donor1990TV MovieDr. Kristine Lipton (as Melissa Gilbert-Brinkman)
The Lookalike1990TV MovieGina / Jennifer (as Melissa Gilbert-Brinkman)
Joshua's Heart1990TV MovieClaudia
Forbidden Nights1990TV MovieJudith Shapiro
Without Her Consent1990TV MovieEmily Briggs
Chameleons1989TV Movie
Ice House1989Kay
Killer Instinct1988TV MovieDr. Lisa DaVito
Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife1987TV MovieMarian
The Penalty Phase1986TV MovieLeah Furman
Choices1986TV MovieTerry Granger
Drug Free Kids: A Parents' Guide1986Video
Faerie Tale Theatre1985TV SeriesGerda
Little House: Bless All the Dear Children1984TV MovieLaura Ingalls Wilder
Family Secrets1984TV MovieSara Calloway
Little House: The Last Farewell1984TV MovieLaura Ingalls Wilder
Little House: Look Back to Yesterday1983TV MovieLaura Ingalls Wilder
Choices of the Heart1983TV MovieJean Donovan
Little House on the Prairie1974-1983TV SeriesLaura Ingalls Laura Ingalls Wilder
Splendor in the Grass1981TV MovieWilma Dean 'Deanie' Loomis
The Diary of Anne Frank1980TV MovieAnne Frank
Little House Years1979TV MovieLaura Ingalls
The Miracle Worker1979TV MovieHelen Keller
Nutcracker Fantasy1979Clara (voice)
The Love Boat1978TV SeriesRosemary 'Rocky' Simpson
Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A.1977TV MovieKelly Sullivan
Circus, Lions, Tigers and Melissas Too1977Hostess
Tenafly1973TV SeriesSuzie's sister
Emergency!1972TV SeriesJenny
Gunsmoke1972TV SeriesSpratt's Child
The Dean Martin Show1968TV SeriesGirl on Santa's Lap
The Reluctant Astronaut1967Niece (uncredited)


Child Stars: Their Story2000TV Movie documentary
ABC Afterschool Specials1996TV Series 1 episode


One Smart Fellow2015Short


One Smart Fellow2015Short producer


Quiet Riot: Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back2014Documentary the producers wish to thank


Child Stars: Their Story2000TV Movie documentaryHerself
The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television2000TV Movie documentarySegment Presenter
Hollywood Squares2000TV SeriesHerself
The Daily Show1999TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Howard Stern Radio Show1999TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Celebrity Profile1998TV Series documentaryHerself
E! True Hollywood Story1997TV Series documentaryHerself
Michael Landon1997TV Movie documentaryHerself
Jeopardy!1996TV SeriesHerself - Celebrity Contestant
The 21st Annual People's Choice Awards1995TV SpecialHerself - Presenter: Favorite Television Comedy Series
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1994-1995TV SeriesHerself
Howard Stern1994TV SeriesHerself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1993-1994TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Vicki!1993TV SeriesHerself
Entertainment Tonight1983-1993TV SeriesHerself
The Howard Stern Interview1993TV SeriesHerself - Guest
One on One with John Tesh1992TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1991TV SpecialHerself - Presenter: Michael Landon Tribute (as Melissa Gilbert-Brinkman)
The 12th Annual CableACE Awards1991TV SpecialHerself
Michael Landon: Memories with Laughter and Love1991Video documentaryHerself - Host
CBS This Morning1990TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The More You Know1989TV SeriesHerself
Live with Kelly and Michael1989TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Morning Program1987TV SeriesHerself
NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration1986TV Special documentaryHerself
The Annual Variety Club's Big Heart Awards1986TV SpecialHerself
The 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards1985TV SpecialHerself - Audience Member
Evening Magazine1984TV SeriesHerself
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous1984TV Series documentaryHerself
The 41st Annual Golden Globe Awards1984TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
Battle of the Network Stars XIII1982TV SpecialHerself - NBC Team
Night of 100 Stars1982TV SpecialHerself
Battle of the Network Stars XI1981TV SpecialHerself - NBC Team
Battle of the Network Stars X1981TV SpecialHerself - NBC Team
The 38th Annual Golden Globe Awards1981TV SpecialHerself
The Mike Douglas Show1980TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Hollywood Squares1978-1980TV SeriesHerself
Battle of the Network Stars VII1979TV SpecialHerself - NBC Team
The 31st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1979TV SpecialHerself - Presenter: Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series & Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Live Wednesday1978TV SeriesHerself
NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of the Wonderful World of Disney1978TV Movie documentaryHerself
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1978TV SeriesHerself
America 2-Night1978TV SeriesHerself
Battle of the Network Stars IV1978TV SpecialHerself - NBC Team
The 4th Annual People's Choice Awards1978TV SpecialHerself - Accepting Award for Favorite Television Dramatic Program
The 35th Annual Golden Globe Awards1978TV Movie documentaryHerself - Presenter
The Merv Griffin Show1977TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Dinah!1975-1976TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Home & Family2015TV SeriesHerself
The Kitchen2015TV SeriesHerself / Actress / Author
The Dr. Oz Show2015TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Good Morning America2012-2015TV SeriesHerself - Guest
A Day in the Life of Little House2015DocumentaryHerself
Oprah: Where Are They Now?2014TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Steve Harvey2014TV SeriesHerself
Today2014TV SeriesHerself
Good Day L.A.2014TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Little House Phenomenon: A Place in Television History2014DocumentaryHerself
Dancing with the Stars2012TV SeriesHerself - Contestant
The Actor's Journey2011Video documentaryHerself
The Actor's Journey for Kids2011Video documentaryHerself
The Talk2010TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Hour2010TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Le syndicat des acteurs2007TV Movie documentaryHerself
A Little House Conversation2006Video documentaryHerself
50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up2005TV Movie documentaryHerself
Shootout2005TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Class of...2005TV SeriesHerself
Good Day Live2004-2005TV SeriesHerself - Guest
11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2005TV SpecialHerself
Biography for Kids2004TV Series documentaryHerself
10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2004TV SpecialHerself
Adoption2002-2003TV SeriesHerself - Hostess
The View2003TV SeriesHerself
9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2003TV SpecialHerself
Intimate Portrait1998-2002TV Series documentaryHerself
The Oprah Winfrey Show2002TV SeriesHerself
NBC 75th Anniversary Special2002TV SpecialHerself
8th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2002TV SpecialHerself - SAG President
E! News2002TV SeriesHerself - Guest
70th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade2001TV MovieHerself
MADtv2001TV SeriesHerself
Biography2001TV Series documentaryHerself
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire2001TV SeriesHerself

Archive Footage

Entertainment Tonight2009-2016TV SeriesHerself
Lost2010TV SeriesLaura Ingalls
Weekend Today2007TV SeriesLaura Ingalls
¿Cómo están ustedes?2006TV MovieLaura Ingalls
Corazón, corazón2006TV SeriesLaura Ingalls
La imagen de tu vida2006TV SeriesLaura Ingalls
Hollywood's Children1982TV Movie documentaryHerself


Won Awards

2006TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsMost Memorable KissLittle House on the Prairie (1974)
2000Golden BootGolden Boot Awards
1985Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameTelevisionOn 13 March 1985. At 6429 Hollywood Blvd.
1984Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Young Actress in a Drama SeriesLittle House on the Prairie (1974)
1983Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Young Actress in a Drama SeriesLittle House on the Prairie (1974)
1975Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsFictional Television DramaLittle House on the Prairie (1974)

Nominated Awards

1982Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Young Actress in a Television SpecialSplendor in the Grass (1981)
1981Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - DramaLittle House on the Prairie (1974)
1980Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a SpecialThe Miracle Worker (1979)
1980Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Juvenile Actress in a TV Series or SpecialLittle House on the Prairie (1974)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It